Insulin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pancreas in the body. For those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot properly use the insulin produced.
With the use of insulin, those with diabetes can better manage blood glucose levels and stops it from accumulating in the bloodstream. Insulin is often taken subcutaneously (under the skin) using a syringe or injectable pen.
There are several types of insulin which can be absorbed at different rates and work for varying lengths of time. Regular insulin is a short-acting insulin that can require 30-60 minutes to begin working after injection. It has a maximum effect between 2-4 hours and stops working between 6-8 hours.
What does Novolin GE Toronto do?
Each mL vial contains 100 units of human biosynthetic insulin (regular insulin).
Novolin GE Toronto is used to treat patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. It helps reduce blood sugar levels to control hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
It is produced by recombinant DNA technology and is structurally similar to insulin produced in the body.
It also contains non-medical ingredients such as glycerol, metacresol, zinc choloride, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid and water for injections.
Novolin GE Toronto is a fast-acting insulin that is usually used in combination with longer-acting insulin. It’s duration can last up to 8 hours.
Novolin GE Toronto solution is used for injection and contains a biosynthetic human insulin.
How to Use this Medication
Novolin GE Toronto should be taken 30 prior to starting a meal due to its fast onset of action. It is important to follow your insulin schedule as recommended to by your doctor to maintain proper glucose levels. Any changes to timing can lead to unwanted side effects.
You required dose of insulin should be based on your body’s insulin levels and how well your body is able to produce it. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dose based on your current health, lifestyle, medical conditions (ie thyroid, infections), illness, injury, stress, surgery, travelling, body weight, blood glucose values and current medication regimen. Your doctor will monitor your glucose levels to also determine insulin dosage.
Use insulin as prescribed regularly to maintain beneficial effects.
This diabetes medication should be injected under the skin (subcutaneously) with the following steps:
1. Using an alcohol swab, clean the top of the vial
2. Inject an amount of air equal to the required dose and withdraw insulin with syringe
3. clean the injection site using a cotton swab and alcohol
4. pinch the skin into a fold. This step may not be necessary if you are using a short needle. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not inject regular insulin into a vein or use with a insulin infusion pump.
Dosages are measure by international units (IU). Each mL of insulin contains 100 IU.
A long-acting insulin may be used in combination with regular insulin in order to cover the time in between doses. There are several variations of insulin dosing which should be determined by your doctor.
It is important to follow your doctors instructions for taking insulin regular. Do not modify how you take it without consulting your doctor first.
Rotate injection sites to avoid complications. This can happen when the fatty tissue under the skin may shrink or thicken due to repeated injection in the same area. To avoid this, change injection sites. Let your doctor know if you notice skin thickening or pitting at the injection site.
How to Store
- Insulin may be used until the expiry date displayed on the label.
- Keep insulin stored at room temperature and discard after no more than 28 days. Unopened insulin vials should be stored in the refrigerator until needed.
- Do not expose insulin to extreme heat or to sunlight. Never freeze insulin.
- Keep out of reach from children or pets.
- Do not dispose of medication through wastewater (ie down toilet or sink) or put in household trash. Speak to your pharmacist about proper instructions to dispose of medication.
Side effects of Novolin GE Toronto
A side effect is an unwanted reaction to medication which can vary from mild, severe, temporary or permanent when a patient takes medication in normal doses.
The side effects associated with Novolin GE Toronto are quite common with other insulin medications. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about taking insulin, discuss risks and benefits.
At least 1% of patients have reported the following side effects below. Many of the side effects associated with insulin are temporary and can be managed over time.
A pharmacist should explain how to manage adverse reactions to medication. Contact your doctor if you experience any side effects.
- redness, itching, swelling at site of injection
- blurred or impaired vision
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty speaking
- fast heartbeat
- numbness or tingling of the lips, fingers, or tongue
- signs of low potassium levels in the blood (ie fatigue, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, weakness)
Immediately stop taking this medication if you experience any of the following side effects:
- rash or blisters all over body
- difficulty breathing
- severe allergic reaction (swelling of face and throat)
Speak with your doctor if you experience any adverse side effects not listed or if you have any concerns from side effects.
Warnings & Precautions of Novolin GE Toronto
The most common adverse reaction for patients using Novolin GE Toronto is hypoglycemia (a severe drop in blood sugar).
You should not take this medication if you:
- have an allergic reaction to insulin or any ingredients contained in the medication
- have low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
Keep a glucose tablet, sugary snack such as candy or non-diet soft drink handy in case you experience hypoglycemia. Side effects of hypoglycemia should include cold sweats, shakiness, palpitations, rapid breathing headache, confusion, hunger or irritability. Keep your doctor informed if you happen to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia as it may require an adjustment to your insulin dosage.
Do not stop taking this medication unless suggested by your doctor. If you are unsure why this medication was prescribed, consult your doctor.
Do not share this medication with others even if they have the same symptoms. Sharing medication can potentially harm others.
Monitor blood sugar regularly using a glucose monitoring system. This is recommended for all diabetes patients to do regularly.
Any modifications to insulin dosages should under the direction of a doctor. Lowering doses (known as insulin rationing) can lead to severe complications.
Do not take this medication if it does not appear water-clear, colorless or contains clumping.
Novolin GE Toronto is not recommended to be used in catheters or pumps due to the risk of precipitation.
Speak to your pharmacist about how to properly dispose of medication and supplies.
Avoid heavy alcohol consumption and do not consume alcohol on an empty stomach.
This medication may cause severe reactions with other medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Symptoms may require a dosage adjustment or change in your medication schedule. Do not make any changes unless under medical supervision. Speak with your doctor about any other medications, supplements, vitamins, herbal remedies or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Let your doctor know of any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies to medications, whether you smoke, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is essential to maintain proper blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It is possible that insulin requirements may be decreased during the first trimester and increased for the second & third trimesters.
An adjustment to diet and insulin may be required by a doctor during breastfeeding.
You should ear or carry identification that lets others know you have diabetes. Diabetes identification can include a bracelet, necklace or card.
Educate family and friends about signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. If recommended by your doctor, keep a glucagon emergency kit available and instruct close family and friends on how to administer it if you lose consciousness.
It’s important to monitor glucose levels regularly as recommended by your doctor or nurse. Especially if you are changing your insulin schedule due to illness, stress or travel. Contact your doctor if readings are showing high or low blood glucose levels.
Your doctor should understand your current health situation and any changes to your lifestyle that can affect your insulin requirements.
Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) if you forget to take your insulin. If not treated, this can result in diabetic ketoacidosis or coma which can be fatal. Initial symptoms of hyperglycemia can include increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fruit flavor or acetone in breath. If you experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor immediately. Vision changes, ability to concentrate of react can also be affected by high glucose levels.